Guilt, Embarassment, and Mixed Episodes

I had been finding blogging really cathartic for a little bit, then strayed away for a bit.  I feel embarrassed about where I am in life, guilty for the burden (mostly financial) that I have placed on my parents, and am in a full-blown mixed episode that is giving me fits currently.

I have had eight sessions of my intensive outpatient program.  I would love to say that it has been all sunshine and roses, but of course it hasn’t been.  It’s real work and I fight with my anxiety every morning in the parking lot about going in.  Of course I’m going in, I mean, I did drive (or rather DSB drove me) almost 30 miles to get here, so I’m going in.  Not going in isn’t really an option.  There are a lot of people that expect me to be there.  But the anxiety in the morning is nearly unbearable.

Groups are small and somewhat manageable.  I really like almost all of the therapists that lead group and generally take away something from them.  I talked to Goddess of Mindfulness this morning and she goes to the program’s consultation meetings as part of her work.  She told me the group thought I was being skillful.  Well.  I don’t feel very skillful.

I feel adrift, lost, unmoored from sanity.  The only time I feel like I am not crazy is the time I spend in the program.  There is a very clear dividing line between stepping in the door and back out again.  In that three hours, I sometimes feel like I understand and I sometimes feel like I will be able to put all of these skills to use in my life.  I don’t know why this is so hard, considering this is all a re-run of what happened five years ago.

My SSDI/SSI phone interview is on Tuesday.  It still feels surreal to be applying.  I can see very clearly that I am not capable of working, and have really been faking it for the past several years.  Knowing this should make the process of filing for SSDI/SSI easier, right?  Ok, well it doesn’t.  The thought of trying to go back to work terrifies me, and the thought of not working terrifies me.

Being dependent (for the time being) on my parents for money is not a good feeling.  I know that hopefully soon I will be able to do more to contribute to their greater good in some way, but right now it is a big fight to do simple things, like take a shower, or get dressed in the morning.

People who were my friends when I was working at the facility text me from time to time, wanting to know how I’m doing, if I want to get together.  I have mostly just been sending vague replies, but I am starting to think that I’m going to stop responding.  I do not have anything to say to these people and I do not feel like I have anything that I could possibly want to talk about with them.  Maybe that seems extreme, but it’s how I feel.

If I think about it, I am really avoiding any kind of social activity, even with QoB.  I see her from time to time, but I am much more comfortable and feel more safe just being at home, zipping back and forth (chauffeured, of course) to therapy and groups.  Not much of a life, is it?  For right now, it’s enough.

I don’t feel like I can take on anything more.  I am barely managing day-to-day life and feel sometimes or sometimes even a lot of the times like it’s just not worth it.  Like things won’t change, I won’t get better, life won’t get better.  There’s a lot of hopelessness up there in my head and down in my gut that I don’t acknowledge a lot of the time, because I think it will disappoint people.  I find myself faking my way through the day most of the time.  In some ways, maybe I need to do that, because the alternative would be to sit and stare and panic.

I’m barely sleeping right now, averaging about 2-3 hours each night.  I’m going through my evening routine, staying away from caffeine, not napping, blah blah blah.  This isn’t something I am doing to myself, it’s something my brain is creating. The less sleep I get, the more irritable and racing and feel.  I feel like I can tolerate very little and my anxiety has been sky-high.

I saw a new pdoc yesterday and I really liked him.  He thinks I am on too much medication and that my Lithium level is too high.  He wants me to get my anxiety and sleep under control, and then possibly do a big med change.  The Geodon doesn’t seem to be working, and he is talking about taking me off that and putting me on Latuda instead.  I haven’t done any research on it yet, because while I want to feel better, it’s hard to care about anything, especially when it’s so hard to believe that a med change will make me feel better.

Sometimes I think I get in my own way.  I don’t think all of the faking it is helping, but I have operated that way for so long that sometimes that’s all I can remember what to do.

Taylor Swift, Stay Beautiful

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9 thoughts on “Guilt, Embarassment, and Mixed Episodes

  1. Rosa, yer very last para says it all. Perhaps, ’tis time to try a new way of living? Something that doesn’t require so much smoke and mirrors? Therein is a start.

    I believe you’re on the right path… patience, and prudence. There’s a hella lot more to life than you can see right now. But ’tis there. Ahem… you’ve always been so impatient. 🙂

    MTLI…XOXO

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  2. Embarrassment is a major part of dealing with this ailment. I hate having to come up with a story line. You now have to explain things to people and the explanations never quite sound right. So we get uncomfortable and we isolate.

    As for guilt, the one thing that tells me is that you have concerns about the people who are helping you. In that respect guilt is not really a bad thing.

    My Dear Queen homed in on your last lines:

    Sometimes I think I get in my own way. I don’t think all of the faking it is helping, but I have operated that way for so long that sometimes that’s all I can remember what to do.

    It also caught my eye. Faking it becomes a major part of our life. So we keep on doing it because we do not know how to do anything else. Now changing that is easier said than done. It is not easy to drop down that facade. I did that a few years ago in my dealings with my online friend. I panicked and I had no where to hide. I ended up slipping into a series of mixed state type episodes. I ended up in a daze and it took me months to figure out what happened. I am sure that My Dear Queen remembers that one.

    I have always had job issues so I am never comfortable talking about work. In some of the music circles that I frequent people never talk work. A couple of months ago I went down to New York with Abu, Byron, and Ted Curtis. All three are characters. It is a three hour drive each way and we spent around four hours there. We talked about where we grew up, music, literature, and race. Not a single word about work. Last month I went down to New York with Byron. The only time when work came up was when I started to talking about my dealings with the Albanian community. It was very relaxing to be a situation like that.

    If I may throw a question your way, where and with situations do you feel comfortable? Do those involve people and with whom? There is your starting point. Can you expand upon it? I think you can. I am sure that My Dear Queen would agree with me.

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    • Pasha, I am comfortable at home, at IOP, and sometimes at QoB’s (but she generally has quite a bit of chaos going on). The people involved are the same as always…DSB, QoB, Big Dog, and a couple of other family friends. I might be able to expand on it at some point, but I can barely tolerate the status quo so I think it may have to wait.

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  3. My L&F… ’tis quite comforting to have a venue where one can just “be,” isn’t it? No expectations, just with folks who know ya, and there’s no reason to delve. HRH, da Queen, tends to surround herself that way. Perhaps a protective mode, perhaps just plain ol’ survival.

    Embarassment and faking it are both highly overrated, and mostly cause angst for the only one who attempts to receive it. As Crocusa would say… swish the cape, and let the bad juju just fly on by. 😉

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  4. Faking it is a defense mechanism. If you feel vulnerable you do need to protect yourself in some way. If that vulnerability remains then so will the defense mechanism. If you can lessen the vulnerability then use can lessen the need for the defenses. Unfortunately what happens is that we get used to faking it. It becomes rote behavior. It just happens. It becomes easier to cover up things then to deal with them.

    Those vulnerabilities are going to vary from person to person and for any person they will also vary over time. I believe that the key is to work on some of those vulnerabilities. That could be changing some aspects of your life or perhaps accepting them. Then you should try to find people, places, and situations where you can relax and feel comfortable. If possible you try to build those into your life. The two things then begin to work together. You can improve your life in some way and then you can do something to celebrate and reinforce those changes.

    Now I am very self consious. My way of getting around that is to watch what I eat; watch my weight, and to dress well. I do look a bit better and a bit younger than my other middle aged male brethren. That helps ,me feel comfortable. So if I then go somethere or do something or talk to someone with whom I am somewhat comfortable then I can relax. There is less of need to fake it.

    Rose you know you can work on and change some aspect of your life. Pick something and find ways to reinforce what you are trying to do. You may surprise yourself.

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  5. Wise words, my L&F. Nuthin’ worse than wearing a skin that isn’t comfortable, regardless of what others think. ’tis always painful, to attempt living a life that doesn’t suit one’s own cause. The ol’ one man’s poison is another man’s ??? eh, whatever that phrase is.

    Surely, ’tis hard, to discover one’s own path. But very possible, with time and thought.

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